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Minnesota Twins’ Josh Willingham, left, is tagged out by Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Hector Santiago after trying to score on a passed ball during the fourth inning Sunday in Minneapolis. Associated Press

White Sox take final 3 games of series against Twins

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White Sox take final 3 games of series against Twins
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hector Santiago overcame a root canal to make his start on Tuesday against Detroit — getting a no-decision for his effort.

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Despite ending up in a few jams Sunday against the Twins, Santiago escaped mostly pain-free and finally picked up a win.

Alexei Ramirez homered and had three RBIs, Santiago won for the first time since June 21 and the Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota 5-2.

“I felt like I was having a root canal through most of it,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s just kind of the way he pitches. Over the course of the season, he finds a way to get into a little bit of trouble and then get out.”

Santiago (4-7) wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, retiring Trevor Plouffe and Oswaldo Arcia on popups.

Brian Dozier had two hits and an RBI for Minnesota, which went 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position and lost for the fifth time in six games.

“I’m back to 100 percent,” said Santiago, who had thrown 96 pitches when he loaded the bases in the fifth. “I reared back a little bit and had some pitches that had some movement. They ran in a little bit on guys and I got two soft fly balls to get out of it.”

Ramirez finished a triple shy of the cycle. He homered to lead off the fifth inning, giving Chicago a 4-2 lead and helping his team win its first road series in more than a month.

Jeff Keppinger’s single scored Avisail Garcia to make it 5-2 later in the fifth.

The Twins have 29 homers in their last 29 games, but are struggling to hit with runners in scoring position. Through seven games on the current homestand, they’re 15 for 71 (.211) in RBI situations.

“It’s not a different mentality with that or anything,” Dozier said. “You just have to bear down more and hopefully pitchers make mistakes in certain situations. It’s something we’ve definitely got to get better at.”

Santiago, who received only 11 runs of support in his previous eight starts, threw 117 pitches and held the Twins to one earned run over six innings.

Chicago has struggled to score all season, but has come on of late. Ramirez has three home runs and 11 RBIs since moving into the No. 3 slot in the batting order eight games ago.

“I still basically do the same thing,” Ramirez said. “If I have a runner in scoring position, I’m doing whatever I can to bring him home. For me, it’s a special place to hit.”

As a team, the White Sox have scored 35 runs in their last seven games and are hitting .307 during that span.

Addison Reed worked around a leadoff walk to Joe Mauer in the ninth to earn his 31st save in 36 chances.

Joining teammates Justin Morneau and Wilkin Ramirez in wearing his socks high, Twins starter Samuel Deduno (7-7) didn’t walk a batter for only the second time this season. But he hit three batters with pitches and balked once on his way to another rough outing.

The right-hander from the Dominican Republic allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings and has lost his last three starts since winning three of four.

“I didn’t go aggressive with my fastball and gave up a couple hits,” Deduno said. “I’m feeling fine, just not locating the fastball.”

Santiago and the White Sox benefited from a little good fortune on Sunday, too.

After Dozier and Mauer singled to start the Minnesota first, Josh Willingham hit a shot that landed in the second tier of the roof deck — just a few feet on the foul side of the pole in left field.

Willingham eventually struck out.

With the Twins down 3-2 in the third, Willingham tried to score on a wild pitch, but the ball ricocheted off the limestone wall behind home plate right back to catcher Josh Phegley, who flipped it to Santiago in time to tag out a sliding Willingham at the plate.

That’s how things have been going for the new-look White Sox lately. Eight of the 25 players on the roster were not on the opening-day squad.

“It does feel different. They’re kind of running with it,” Ventura said.

NOTES: Chicago plays 23 of its next 26 games against teams above .500, including series against each of the current first-place teams in the American League. ... Twins 2013 first-round pick Kohl Stewart was promoted to the Elizabethton Twins after posting a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in three starts with Minnesota’s rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate. ... The Twins will send rookie Kyle Gibson (2-3, 6.27 ERA) to the mound for his 10th career start Monday afternoon in a makeup game against the Mets. New York will counter with Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.79). ... Chicago starts a three-game series in Kansas City on Tuesday, opening with John Danks (2-10, 4.54), who is 0-5 with a 4.70 ERA in his last eight starts.

Saturday’s Game

Chicago hands Albers first loss

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — For the third time in as many starts, a Chicago White Sox lineup that has struggled to support Chris Sale much of this season fought back to pick up its All-Star lefty.

Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer, Alejandro De Aza had a two-run shot and scored three times, and the White Sox topped the Minnesota Twins 8-5 Saturday night.

Sale (9-11) won three straight starts for the first time this season, giving up three runs and nine hits in seven innings.

“He's got a pretty high standard of how good he is,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You've seen him better than that, but he's been better and lost, too. So he'll take it.”

Prior to his three-game winning streak, Sale was 1-9 in his previous 11 starts despite a 3.23 ERA. He's lost six times this season when allowing two earned runs or less.

Sale was happy to see the White Sox came right back after he allowed three runs on four consecutive two-out hits in the third.

Viciedo's homer capped a four-run fourth.

“Even when it wasn't going great, I still had that confidence in them to come back and score those runs,” Sale said. “You go out there and have a three-run inning like that and your guys come back in and score four, that shows they are still fighting. So I've got to go out there and keep fighting as well.”

Sale also got help from his defense, which turned three double plays, including a highlight reel stop and flip from second baseman Gordon Beckham that ended a two-on, one-out threat in the fifth.

Addison Reed worked a scoreless ninth to record his career-high 30th save in 35 chances.

Andrew Albers (2-1) took the loss after beginning his career with 17 1-3 scoreless innings, a record for a Twins starter. He allowed five runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Albers’ streak ended in the first when Paul Konerko's groundout scored De Aza from third base.

Albers recorded back-to-back outs to start the fourth before Adam Dunn and Avisail Garcia hit consecutive doubles. Jeff Keppinger then walked before Viciedo hit his 10th homer.

Viciedo's shot gave him five RBIs in his last two games, equaling his total from July 10 through Aug. 14. He sat out five of Chicago's previous seven games while dealing with a left thumb injury.

Chicago added a run in the eighth when left fielder Josh Willingham lost Dunn's two-out fly in the twilight and the ball dropped for an RBI double.

It was the second ball lost by an outfielder that led to a White Sox run, as Clete Thomas lost Alexei Ramirez's first-inning double in the sun, setting up Konerko's RBI groundout.

Dunn finished with three hits, giving him six in his last 11 at-bats and extending his hitting streak to nine games. He batted just .156 in his first 55 games, but since June 8 is hitting .322.

Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer in the Twins eighth off Nate Jones. Minnesota homered for the 10th straight game, its longest streak since 11 consecutive in August 2007.

Joe Mauer doubled and drove in two runs for the Twins, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Willingham, Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon all finished with two hits and scored a run. Florimon had just one hit in his previous 26 at-bats.

NOTES: Chicago INF Conor Gillaspie said his bruised left hand felt better after leaving Friday's game in the eighth. Gillaspie said he was available for Saturday's game and hopes to be back in the lineup Sunday. ... Minnesota agreed to terms with INF Brad Boyer of the St. Paul Saints independent league team on Saturday. Boyer, 29, is hitting .337 with seven home runs and 50 RBIs in 78 games. The former draft pick of the Seattle Mariners (2005, 14th round) and San Francisco Giants (2006, 13th round) will report to Double-A New Britain. The Twins have had success with independent league signees, including Albers, LHP Caleb Thielbar also from the Saints and recently demoted Chris Colabello.

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